METHUEN — At one point late in the third quarter, an exasperated Tom Ryan turned to his bench and barked, “We just don’t know how to win!”
Sorry, coach, but your Methuen High Rangers have played four games so far, and winning seems to be all they know.
“I’m an emotional cat, what can I say?” said Ryan after his boys finished off Dracut High in style, 35-20, to move to a perfect 4-0.
Ryan’s Rangers continue to defy the critics, moving to 2-0 in the MVC small race with Haverhill, Tewksbury and North Andover lying ahead in the next three weeks.
“Look, I’ve got good kids, good athletes. I mean I inherited a very good team,” said Ryan. “We’re a tough, little football team, and it’s about time people started to realize that.”
Methuen took care of business against its Turkey Day rival with an offense that churned out 377 yards and didn’t turn the football over.
The Rangers rode senior Willy Weinhold and the halfback punished the 0-3 Middies in a 27-carry, 174-yard, three-TD day.
“It was definitely a good day for the running game,” said Weinhold. “The sweeps were working great today. The guys out there dig a great job in their stock blocks, and I felt very fresh, because I didn’t play much defense out there.”
Weinhold’s proficiency on the ground kept drawing Dracut forward, and twice the Middies got burned deep. The young man inflicting the damage? Ranger senior Brian Cole.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound senior caught Austin George-Williams TD bombs of 35 and 52 yards, the latter which ultimately put the Middies away for good.
“It’s been a long wait, but this makes it worth every minute,” said Cole, whose TDs were career firsts.
“First two this year, first two ever. Both of them were great calls, and on each of them (George-Williams) really made a play. I just happened to be the guy to run underneath them. It’s unbelievable.”